Some of Halifax’s best beauty spots are being spoilt by irresponsible dog owners failing to clean up after their pets, says Yorkshire Water.
The company says it is becoming increasingly exasperated by the inability of a few dog owners to do the right thing.
It estimates that it removes tonnes of dog mess from its 120 recreational sites every year, even though most boast numerous dog bins, and says its sites in Halifax, including Mixenden, Ogden, and Warley Moor, are becoming real problem spots.
Yorkshire Water says it has spent millions of pounds opening up tens of thousands of acres of often stunning land around its reservoirs for the general public to enjoy but the problem has reached “epidemic proportions”.
Already this year, the firm says there have been more than a dozen occasions where company wardens have had to clear areas of some sites which have been “practically carpeted” in dog muck.
It says it is also becoming increasingly concerned by some dog who seem to prefer to hang bags filled with dog mess from tree branches, rather than putting it in dog bins.
Geoff Lomas, recreation and catchment manager for Yorkshire Water, said it was “incredibly sad” that despite their best efforts, they were hearing reports of people having to spend more time watching where they are walking rather than enjoying their walk.
“Not only does such irresponsible behaviour make it harder for everyone else to enjoy our beautiful sites, but it’s also very unpleasant for the people who have to clear it up.
“Our message to them is simple: Please do the right thing and make sure you always clean up after your dog and dispose of any mess in the correct way.”
Yorkshire Water says it has employs every available incentive to encourage dog owners to do the right thing, from installing dozens of dog bins and giving away free dog mess bags, through to organising regular visits by council wardens who are able to fine anyone not clearing up after their dog.